Skip to content

Legacy of Dr. Robert Panara, ’45 & H-’85, forever remembered on USPS Forever Stamp

July 25, 2017
By Andrew Greenman, '10 and Kaitlin Luna

Share:

Esteemed Gallaudet alumnus, the late Dr. Robert Panara, ’45 & H-’85, was selected by the United States Postal Service to be featured on a Forever Stamp this year. Panara’s is the 16th stamp in the “Distinguished Americans” series, and he is honored as an influential teacher and pioneer in the field of deaf studies. The stamp features a 2009 photograph of Panara, shown signing the word “respect,” in American Sign Language (ASL).

Gallaudet hosted a ceremony in its “Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond” museum in Chapel Hall to celebrate the honor in conjunction with the United States Postal Service (USPS) on April 18, 2017. Don Padden, ’45, Meredith Peruzzi, ’11, museum specialist, and Dr. Dirksen Bauman, ASL and Deaf Studies professor and department chair, all gave remarks during the ceremony.

Peruzzi emceed the event and recognized Panara as being an important role model to the entire deaf community.

“As an alumnus and professor, his influence on hundreds of students and our ongoing educational mission cannot be understated,” said Peruzzi.

During his 40-year teaching career, Panara inspired generations of students with his powerful use of ASL. Panara taught at Gallaudet for nearly 20 years, as well as at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). At NTID, he established the school’s English department and founded the school’s drama club.

Outside of Gallaudet and NTID, Panara helped increase the visibility and popularity of ASL by co-founding the National Theater of the Deaf in the 1960s and teaching drama workshops.

Gallaudet awarded Panara with an honorary doctorate in 1985 for his contributions to the University as well as to the deaf community.

Bauman described the stamp as being a fitting emblem of Panara’s influence on the field of ASL literature and theater.

“Panara left his stamp on these fields through his imaginative and creative output, exploring the relations of ASL and English, resulting in his raising the status of ASL as a medium of poetry and literary expression,” said Bauman.

Panara’s stamps can be purchased through USPS here. You can watch a YouTube video of the event here.

Photo by Danielle Seiss.

25 July 2017
By Andrew Greenman, '10 and Kaitlin Luna

Share:

Recent Posts

Roberto E. Wirth, E-’74 & H-’09, passed away on June 5 in Rome, Italy. Mr. Wirth was owner and managing director of the Hotel Hassler in Rome, one of the most prestigious family-owned hotels in the world, and owned several other hotels and resorts throughout Italy. He was a strong advocate for deaf people in...

Alumnus Timel Benton has signed a contract with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Benton, who graduated last month, is the first Gallaudet Bison to sign a professional football contract since Tony Tatum signed on with the Utah Blaze in the now-disbanded Arena Football League (AFL) in May 2013. Benton was...

James Caverly, ’11, who plays Theo Dimas in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, will play Professor Harold Hill in the Olney Theatre Center’s summer production of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical The Music Man, which opens tonight and runs through July 23. The show’s official opening is on Thursday, June 23. Sandra Mae Frank, ’13,...

About the Author

Andrew Greenman, '10 and Kaitlin Luna

Recent Posts
Deaf hotelier Roberto Wirth passes away
Alumnus Timel Benton to play professional football
Alumni, faculty featured in The Music Man at Olney Theatre Center
Related Categories
Media Inquiries

For any other media inquiry, please contact:

No media contact found!

Stay up to date on all the Gallaudet happenings, both stories and initiatives we are doing with our Signing community!​

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate